Book reviews

Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 by B. Lynn Goodwin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

B. Lynn Goodwin’s memoir Never too late: From wannabe to wife at 62, published by Köehler Books, is set in contemporary America. It tells the inspirational story of Lynn, an independent professional woman, who finds love late in life and has to wrestle with her fears and her expectations fuelled by modern media.
Lynn is a writer and editor. She lives with her dog Mikko McPuppers in a condo in Danville. After a few uneventful relationships she meets Richard on Craigslist. What follows is a searingly honest tale of overcoming their differences in outlook (he believes that a man should be the head of the household and she wants an equal partnership), education, financial security and experience, he has been married twice and she is a virgin.
In first person past tense the story is told through Lynn’s engaging perspective. I enjoyed her sense of humor as she navigates the perilous line ‘part servant part independent woman’ of an intimate relationship with a religious, traditional man.
What comes across is that in order to be a couple, a man and a woman has to learn to negotiate and be willing to compromise. That’s leads to growth as Lynn learns to trust Richard in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
There is a section at the back of the book with helpful advice and suggestions on where to look for those over-fifties still yearning for love.

 

 

Asleep Awake Asleep: Stories by Jo-Ann Bekker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Jo-Ann Bekker’s stories are carefully crafted. They take you on a journey into our recent history and into the personal. The writing is taut, nimble, a joy to read.

My favourite ones are the very short flash fiction pieces like Displays, Candlelit and Profile, and the micro fiction grouped together in Alphabetically, reminiscent of Lydia Davis.

Divided into six sections: a prologue, epilogue and nine stories grouped together thematically, the stories deal with modern life at the southern tip of Africa. Throughout runs an empathetic awareness of the ‘other’.

First person, second person and third person stories populate a collection that is a worthy read. I recommend you take the plunge.


Seasons Defined by Khaya Ronkainen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Khaya Ronkainen‘s book of nature poetry follows the seasons, from spring to winter in 16 beautiful poems. The dedication captures her realization that “love defines all seasons”.

Originally from Umtata, South Africa, her poetry deals mostly with a northern landscape (she lives in Finland). In an interview on the blog ‘How my heart speaks’ she names her influences as the Xhosa poets, S.E.K. Mqhayi and Tiyo Soga, elaborating that “Chanting of clan praises is poetry itself; oral poetry that overlaps with a song. Thus, in my writing I’m always trying to emulate that rhythm and harmony.”

I look forward to reading more of her poetry



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